Nashville, TN-- Joe Torre held a press conference Monday afternoon at the Winter Meetings to discuss the World Baseball Classic (WBC), and his involvement as Team USA's manager. When asked why he was returning to managing for the first time since his 2010 season with the Dodgers, he said that the WBC was a lot like having your grandchildren--you have them for three weeks, then it's over.
Earlier this week, Torre announced a dream team of a coaching staff, including Larry Bowa (bench coach), Marcel Lachemann (bullpen coach), Gerald Perry (hitting coach), Willie Randolph (third-base coach), Dale Murphy (first-base coach), and Greg Maddux (pitching coach).
Torre said that no formal invitations have been extended to players thus far, but some informal exchanges took place during the season and that they will start working to fill the 28-man roster in the coming weeks. The final roster will be announced on January 16th, 2013.
The coaching staff met to discuss the best way to build a competitive roster, and the focus has been mainly on pitching, with Maddux driving the bus on pitching decision-making. There's a chance that they decide to stack the roster with starting pitchers rather than relievers, something that's not entirely unusual in early March as pitchers stretch out in preparation for the season. Torre admitted the challenge of using starters is that the WBC coaching staff must work closely with team pitching coaches to ensure that the pitchers playing in the WBC are managed according to their organization's wishes for pitch counts and workload, given that the tournament will end just weeks before the regular MLB season begins.
The WBC begins March 2nd and will run through March 19th, with the championship game scheduled at AT&T Park in San Francisco.